[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Schedule a Visit

Nulla vehicula fermentum nulla, a lobortis nisl vestibulum vel. Phasellus eget velit at.

Call us:
1-800-123-4567

Send an email:
monica.wayne@example.com

May 15, 2019 at 10:15 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA Brings Together Industry Leaders to Collaborate and Innovate on Housing

MEREDA Brings Together Industry Leaders to Collaborate and Innovate on Housing

On Tuesday, May 7, some 300 members of Maine’s real estate industry gathered in Portland for the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) 2019 Spring Conference on the future of housing in Maine.  With housing at a critical juncture in Maine, MEREDA and its members are committed to finding ways to respond to existing challenges and support responsible development for the future.

“MEREDA and its members want to be part of the solution, which is why we put this important conference together,” says Gary Vogel, MEREDA President. Vogel gave introductory remarks at the conference which brought together industry leaders to collaborate and innovate on finding solutions for the housing challenges Maine faces.

The conference included a keynote presentation by Dr. Lynn Fisher of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Dr. Fisher provided both national and state economic data, painting a bigger picture of the housing situation.  Reflecting on the nearly 10-year economic recovery in our country, Fisher says, “Economic expansion does not die of old age,” but noted it is important to recognize that this is a mature cycle.  Fisher’s presentation included a discussion of finding ways to produce more housing at a lower price point and seeking out inventive policies to address the myriad of issues inherent to housing in Maine.

Martin Ditto of Ditto Residential in Washington, D.C. also provided a keynote and spoke about his mission to build cohousing communities as one possible solution to the housing crisis.  He urged real estate developers to think beyond merely building houses, but to help create communities where people can connect with one another.

The event also included a panel discussion with local experts Dan Brennan of MaineHousing, Matt O’Malia of GO Logic, and Hannah Pingree the Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management, as well as questions from the audience.  Dan Brennan laid out the needs of Maine: “Maine needs 20,000 more affordable homes in the state.  Our most recent production has been around 300 units per year.  Our goal is to get to 1000.” On building affordable housing he continued, “We know how to do it, we’re just not doing enough of it.”

Looking to the future, Matt O’Malia and Hannah Pingree spoke on the need for more efficient homes.  O’Malia, an architect by training, has developed a sustainable insulation product made from wood fiber which will be produced in Maine and provide jobs for Mainers.  Making homes more efficient and better insulated is a goal of Governor Mills’ administration, and Pingree spoke about the challenge of keeping people in their homes and able to afford to heat them.

With the advent of tiny homes and 3-D printed homes, the panel acknowledged the need for more innovative approaches to housing. Whether or not people will want these types of homes remains a question, but thinking outside the box on how to produce affordable housing needs to be part of the conversation.  As Fisher pointed out earlier in the conference, innovation also needs to be applied to the policy side of things.  Having a few brave mayors and town councils try out different zoning policies could have a big impact on how communities can answer the need for housing.

At the end of the day, the conference showed that there are no easy answers to the housing problem in Maine, but getting the right people together in the room to discuss ideas and solutions is where we need to start. “We look forward to continuing this conversation with developers, governmental officials, lenders, brokers and homebuyers to work on turning the ideas from the conference into practice and working on additional solutions to the housing issues faced by Mainers,” said Vogel.

May 1, 2019 at 11:36 am · · Comments Off on Make Plans to Join MEREDA on June 4 to Learn About the State of Housing in Bangor

Make Plans to Join MEREDA on June 4 to Learn About the State of Housing in Bangor

Housing has become a large topic of conversation in service center communities across the state.  Businesses, families and individuals are being impacted by Maine’s recent economic trends; rising construction costs, rental affordability challenges and limits on the supply of both market and affordable housing options are hampering communities in different ways.

An overview of recent portfolio sales of apartment properties, in the Bangor market, will be presented.  In addition, a regional summary of multi-family housing development will be provided.

Make plans to join us in Bangor on June 4th at Hollywood Casino to learn about Bangor’s recent months long study of its housing issues and hear about what City officials and area partners are doing to impact the supply, quality and affordability of housing in the Queen City.

About the Event: Download the Event Brochure

June 4, 2019 – 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Hollywood Casino Bangor
500 Main Street
Bangor, ME

Buffet Breakfast: 7:30 – 8:00 a.m.
Program: 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Our Presenters:

Philip S. Drew, City Assessor has been serving in his current position since January 2015.  He is responsible for all aspects of the day to day operation and long term planning of the Assessing Department, managing the departmental personnel, and conducting assessments of personal and real property for the City of Bangor.

Philip currently, serves as a board member of the Maine Chapter of the International Association of Assessors. Philip lives in Glenburn with his wife Mary.

Jeff Wallace, a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, has worked for the City of Bangor for ten years.  During the first nine years he managed the City’s home repair program; said program provided low interest loans to Low to Moderate Income homeowners to complete needed repairs.  He has been a certified Code Enforcement Officer since 2014 and the Director of Code Enforcement since April, 2018.  He lives in Bangor with his wife Kristen and two children, Zachary and Sarah.

Jason Bird is the Housing Development Director for Penquis.  Jason oversees an existing portfolio of over 300 units of affordable housing in the Eastern Maine region and is responsible for developing new affordable housing and acquiring existing rental housing properties.

Before joining Penquis, Jason worked for 10 years doing community and economic development at the municipal and regional levels. Jason holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration, both from the University of Maine.  He currently serves on the Board of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition.

Registering for this Event: Click Here to Register Now

Your RSVP is requested by May 28, 2019. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted  to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after May 28, 2019.

Ticket Prices:

Members: $25 each | Non-Members: $35 ea
Prices increase by $10 after May 28, 2019

MEREDA’s Morning Menu Breakfast “The State of Housing in Bangor” is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank, Bowman Constructors and the City of Bangor. 

April 25, 2019 at 1:23 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA Welcomes Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development

MEREDA Welcomes Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development

The Department of Economic & Community Development’s broad mission is to help communities and businesses prosper through a variety of programs providing everything from targeted tax relief to community block grants to tourism marketing. DECD and its partners show companies how to benefit from millions of dollars in tax credits, reimbursements, R & D credits, capital loans, even direct investment.

Join us on June 19th at the Holiday Inn By the Bay to hear about the Commissioner’s first few months in office, and learn about what she sees as opportunities and threats for Maine’s economy, and what may come out of the legislative session to advance the economy.  We’ll also learn what Maine is doing to be competitive and what programs DECD uses to assist development together with specific success stories.

Following her formal remarks, Commissioner Johnson will welcome questions from the audience.

About the Event:

June 19, 2019 – 7:30 – 9:00 AM

Holiday Inn by the Bay
88 Spring Street
Portland, ME

Breakfast: 7:30 – 8:00 AM
Program: 8:00 – 9:00 AM

Our Presenter:

Heather Johnson grew up in Skowhegan and graduated from the University of Maine. She began her career by building a diverse background in the private technology sector including sales, operations and general management roles at Nokia, Gateway and Toshiba. With continually expanding roles she created startup operations inside large companies, developed new products for new markets, and ran a $1.2 billion retail business.

After leaving the private sector, Heather had the opportunity to concentrate on rural economic development at Somerset Economic Development Corporation. During her time as the Executive Director she focused on key economic drivers such as; connectivity, workforce participation, and potential growth markets.

While serving as the Director of ConnectME Heather was responsible for managing a small grant program, mapping key assets, working with communities and businesses to help them identify needs and opportunities to utilize connectivity to enable their goals. Heather was able to able to make changes that positions the ConnectME to move forward into the connectivity space.

As Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development Heather continues to dedicate her career to fostering economic development, both in private companies and in rural communities across Maine.

Registering for this Event: Click Here to Register Now

Your RSVP is requested by June 12, 2019. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted  to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after June 12, 2019.

Ticket Prices:

Members: $45 each | Non-Members: $55 ea
Prices increase by $10 after June 12, 2019

This MEREDA Morning Menu Breakfast Event is Sponsored by Norway Savings Bank.

 

April 20, 2019 at 3:45 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA is Proud to Host its 7th Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Fundraising Event at Bayside Bowl in Portland on May 23

MEREDA is Proud to Host its 7th Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Fundraising Event at Bayside Bowl in Portland on May 23

MEREDA is proud to host its 7th Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Fundraising Event at Bayside Bowl in Portland on May 23, 2019.  “Strikes for Scholars” supports scholarships for Maine students pursuing studies in building trades, architecture, construction, engineering or a business program at a Maine Community College (MCCS), or the College of Science, Technology & Health at the University of Southern Maine.

MEREDA strongly supports a strong education system.  In fact, over the past 5 years, MEREDA is proud to have raised and donated over $87,000 in scholarships helping over 62 Maine students by making it a little easier for them to achieve their goal of obtaining a college credential. Last year alone, we raised enough funds to provide 16 $1250 sponsorships!

Click here to read more about this event.

April 10, 2019 at 3:41 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA Celebrates Real Estate Development in Maine: Six Development Teams to Earn Recognition

MEREDA Celebrates Real Estate Development in Maine: Six Development Teams to Earn Recognition

Augusta, Boothbay Harbor, Topsham, Portland, Waterville, and Westbrook projects to receive awards from Maine Real Estate & Development Association on May 7

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), the state’s leading organization for responsible real estate development, has selected the top six real estate developments in Maine in 2018, and will present awards to each at its annual Spring Conference in Portland on May 7 at the Holiday Inn By the Bay.

The MEREDA board of directors has selected exemplary projects from across the state, completed in 2018, which not only embody MEREDA’s belief in responsible real estate development, but also exemplify best practices in the industry, contributing to excellent jobs and increased tax bases for our cities and towns.

Each of the six projects was selected in part based upon criteria including: noteworthy and significant project completed* in 2018 (*Building Occupancy Permit must be issued by 12 31 18.), environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, social impact, uniqueness, difficulty of development and job creation. The recipients are:

  • Westbrook Housing, Westbrook Development Corporation, and Anew Development’s Riverview  Terrace in Westbrook
  • Dirigo Capital Advisors’ Ballard Center in Augusta
  • Paul G. Coulombe’s Boothbay Harbor Country Club in Boothbay Harbor
  • Colby College’s Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons in Waterville
  • Developers Collaborative & Sea Coast Management’s The Motherhouse in Portland
  • Bateman Partners’ Topsham Care Center in Topsham

Click here to learn more about the recipients and make plans to join us on May 7th as we recognize these developments at our 2019 Annual Spring Conference. Full registration details are available by clicking here.

April 9, 2019 at 1:24 pm · · Comments Off on The Top 6 Notable Projects for 2018 have been chosen!

The Top 6 Notable Projects for 2018 have been chosen!

Make plans to join us on May 7th as we recognize these developments at our 2019 Annual Spring Conference.

MEREDA will also unveil the latest edition of the “MEREDA Index“.  Dr. Charlie Colgan’s report for 2018 Q4 & 2019 Q1 with comments from Maine professionals.

Click Here to Register Now for MEREDA’s Annual Real Estate Spring Conference “The Future of Housing in Maine: Opportunities and Solutions”

March 19, 2019 at 1:03 pm · · Comments Off on Join us in Lewiston on April 23 for the Last of our 3 Opportunity Zones Breakfasts

Join us in Lewiston on April 23 for the Last of our 3 Opportunity Zones Breakfasts

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a bi-partisan tax incentive program based on economically distressed Opportunity Zones.  Investors in Qualified Opportunity Zone businesses now have the ability to defer, and to some extent eliminate, recent capital gain income, by properly investing their gain proceeds.  Gov. LePage has designated 32 Opportunity Zones in Maine ranging from Saco to Madawaska,  which opens the door for real estate developers pursuing projects in these designated areas to tap into a whole new group of tax savvy investors.

Join MEREDA for the last of its three informational breakfast events, this time in Lewiston at DaVinci’s Eatery on April 23, 2019  from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM to learn more about these complicated new rules.  Once again, panelists Andy Smith andNelson Toner will offer insights about how the legislation will impact the real estate industry and the tax advantages available to investors in Opportunity Zone projects


About the Panelists:

For more than 30 years, Nelson Toner has practiced law at Bernstein Shur providing tax planning, estate planning and business succession planning to individual and business clients.  Prior to working at Bernstein Shur, Nelson worked in the tax department at the Boston office of Grant Thornton, an international accounting firm during the halcyon days of pre-1986 real estate syndications.  Nelson gives many local and state seminars, including a regular presentation at the Maine Tax Forum each autumn, and for many years taught Estate and Gift Tax at the Maine Law School.  He also writes the S Corporation column for the Journal of Passthrough Entities, a national tax publication.

Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Trinity College (Hartford), a JD  degree from Case Western Reserve University, and an LLC in taxation from Boston University.

Andrew Smith is a principal at Baker Newman Noyes, specializing in assisting his clients with practical advice and creative solutions to their most challenging business issues, including tax efficient structures for business transactions; fixed asset analysis; succession planning; and tax deferral and reduction strategies. He also works with real estate clients of all sizes on cost segregation studies, like-kind exchanges, and historic rehabilitation credits. In addition to serving clients, Andy is also actively  involved in the firm’s college recruiting initiatives, having begun his career at the firm in 1997 as an intern and leads the tax department’s Multi-Generational Business group.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with concentrations in accounting and finance, from the University of Maine, Orono.


Registering for this Event: Click here to register for this event

Your RSVP is requested by April 16, 2019. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted  to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after April 16, 2019.

Ticket Prices:

Members: $25 each | Non-Members: $35 ea
Prices increase by $10 after April 16, 2019

This MEREDA Morning Menu breakfast is sponsored by Norway Savings Bank

March 14, 2019 at 11:20 am · · Comments Off on Make Plans to Join MEREDA on April 10 to Learn About Portland’s Economic Growth in the East End Over the Last Ten Years

Make Plans to Join MEREDA on April 10 to Learn About Portland’s Economic Growth in the East End Over the Last Ten Years

Come learn about Portland’s economic growth in the East End over the last ten years, including the public-private sector partnerships which support it. In 2004, the Portland City Council approved a plan for the eastern waterfront of the city that proposed a new street grid, redevelopment of the old Portland Company site, and a mix of uses and buildings to integrate with the historic fabric of the area. Since that time, the City has completed new zoning for the area, and a new Comprehensive Plan that sets a framework for growth. Hear from City officials about how this work proceeded from planning, to action, to partnership, and how the City continues to work to manage the impacts of development through innovative strategies to manage mobility, parking and quality of life issues.

Make plans now to join MEREDA on April 10, 2019 from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM at the Clarion Hotel in Portland.

About the Panelists:

Jeff Levine, AICP, has been involved with land use and economic development planning on the local and regional level for 20 years. In Portland, he has built a team that has led projects such as Portland’s Plan 2030; development of a form-based code for the India Street neighborhood; creation of an inclusionary housing ordinance and robust Housing Trust; and other changes to operations and local ordinances to promote a sustainable city. Before coming to Portland, he was the Director of Planning & Community Development for Brookline, MA, where he managed the completion of the town’s award-winning Comprehensive Plan and a public realm plan for the Route 9 corridor into Boston. Previously, he worked as the Director of Transportation & Long Range Planning for the City of Somerville, MA, and as a regional planner for the Cape Cod Commission. A New England native, he has been involved in a number of land use transformations, including the redevelopment of the Assembly Square district in Somerville; planning for the introduction of a new light rail transit line in Somerville; and redevelopment of John Kennedy’s boyhood church into a mixed-income housing development in Brookline. Jeff has also been involved in Metropolitan Planning Organizations in Boston, on Cape Cod, and in Portland. Jeff is an adjunct faculty member at the Muskie School of Public Service, and was previously an adjunct at Tufts University, at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and at the APA Planning Leadership Institute. He has a degree in economic development planning from the University of Minnesota and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.

Greg Mitchell has over thirty-five years of economic development work experience in public and private sectors including non-profit organizations located in South Florida and throughout Maine. He has been the Economic Development Director for the City of Portland for ten years. His present work involves business recruitment and retention, advocacy of business interests in City government, marketing, lead negotiator with economic development projects and City real estate transactions.  Greg has degrees in business administration and economics from Norwich University and Florida Atlantic University.

Registering for this Event: Click here to Register Now

Your RSVP is requested by April 3, 2019. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted  to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after April 3, 2019.

Ticket Prices:

Members: $45 each | Non-Members: $55 each

Prices increase by $10 after April 3, 2019

MEREDA’s Morning Menu Breakfast Series is sponsored by Norway Savings Bank.

March 12, 2019 at 8:20 am · · Comments Off on The Future of Home Buying

The Future of Home Buying

Dava Davin, Principal, Portside Real Estate Group

Will technology make real estate transactions a whole lot easier? The number of single-family home transactions in Maine has been flat for the last three years and is not expected to increase any time soon. This is a reflection of the economy, age of Mainers, and an inventory shortage. But could it also be that buying and selling homes is a royal pain in the rear for most people, preparing their homes for strangers to walk through, tons of paperwork, and the terrifying unknowns being able to find their next suitable home? With this in mind some companies are trying to shake things up the way Uber disrupted transportation and Netflix changed home entertainment.

Let’s take a step out of Maine for a moment. $100 billion of commissions are paid per year in the United States. Residential real estate has been sold the same way for decades, but we are starting to see change in other parts of the country as consumers would like to see a simplified method for transacting real estate. Millennials will account for 45% of buyers in 2019. Millennials, and frankly all consumers want information and action ON DEMAND, they don’t want to leave voice mails or send emails and WAIT, they prefer just to push a button on their phone and take an action. So, an enormous amount of money is being invested into technology to get a bite into the real estate industry and that $100 billion of commissions. The historical void of innovation in real estate has opened a world of opportunity for startups that are attracting billions of dollars from venture capitalists.

The VC world is all about PROPTECH (short for property technology) — a relatively new term referring to the sector of startups that create new products or business models for the real estate market. This is the future of real estate market.

The players in this space are VERY powerful. Global venture capital investment in real estate innovation was $12.6 billion in 2017.

One model the proptech companies have launched is the iBuyer. Sellers can trade in their house on-line!  An iBuyer is a company that will make a homeowner an offer on their home online within minutes (or days), sight unseen, using an automated valuation tool. If they choose to accept the price, they can close in as little as a couple of days or pick a convenient closing date. The iBuyers tout the selling experience as quick and easy. No need to paint, stage, repair, clean up, have showings and open houses. Yes, these valuations are less than market value, but for a homeowner that needs to relocate for a job, is navigating a sensitive divorce, or a seller that can’t afford to buy without selling and want to act quickly…this could be the answer!

Opendoor, one of the iBuying companies has raised over $1 billion in VC money. Other competitors OfferPad and Knock have also raised quite a bit of money. It is not just startup tech companies investing in iBuyer technology, the traditional real estate players are also bankrolling new technologies. Zillow, Keller Williams, Realogy, and Redfin have developed their own iBuying arms and investing heavily in proptech.

Who is using these services?

Rental giants that used to gobble up distressed sales to grow their single-family inventory can’t do that anymore as foreclosures have dried up. 1 in 10 homes sold by iBuyers are bought by institutional investors. This number is increasing. It is not just big landlords buying through this method, the tight inventory is causing single family rental investors across the country to look for other methods to find inventory to buy. Rental demand is predicted to stay strong in the next decade.

iBuying is still a niche product. If we look at Phoenix, a city with where multiple iBuyers have been operating for years, the sector has only about 4 percent of the overall market. Would this model work in Maine? No, probably not, we have a lot of variety in our housing stock, the values would be difficult to capture without a human visit to the property.

But the venture capital money is allowing proptech companies to keep developing a solution to simplify the home buying process. The iBuying model (or another automated option for selling real estate) will gain in popularity. And that appetite will likely only grow as consumers skew younger and are more empowered by technology.  It won’t be this exact model, but once the technology is discovered that does catch on, it will be a rapid change – think about quickly Uber changed how we get around and how Amazon changed our shopping experience.

It will be exciting to watch and be a part of these changes as technology is infused in residential real estate and if/when it will creep into Maine’s market.

March 1, 2019 at 12:55 pm · · Comments Off on Thinking Spring? Think MEREDA’s Annual Networking Social on March 21!

Thinking Spring? Think MEREDA’s Annual Networking Social on March 21!

Make plans now to join us on March 2 at Ri Ra Irish Pub & Restaurant for MEREDA’s Annual Spring Networking Social!

MEREDA’s networking events attract key players in Maine’s real estate industry offering excellent opportunities to interact with the experts.

Join us and other industry professionals on Portland’s waterfront on March 21 from 5 – 7 pm for Hors d’ oeuvres, Spirits, and Great Conversation as we welcome Spring to Maine!

Join us for a cocktail or two, and reconnect with colleagues and friends, both old and new!  This “can’t miss” event sells out every year, so sign up early!

Click here to register now